Names in the News: Dawn Quintana
She owns Quintana's Barber & Dream Spa with her husband, Alex, but here are a few things you may not know about her.
Name & Occupation: Dawn Quintana, small business owner.
How long have you lived and worked in Cleveland Heights? November will be three years that I’ve been living in Cleveland Heights so about two-and-a-half years. We’ve had the business in Cleveland Heights for 11 years.
What do you like most about this community? The support for having a business. I mean everyone, the clients are so embracing, and the city has been so gracious to work with us, and the nonprofits, they’ve really helped to embrace our business and support us. They really want you to succeed. Our customers are great about that, too. And especially the city planning department has been really helpful. They helped us to envision our sign and the storefront renovation — they’ve been phenomenal.
What community and civic organizations are you currently involved in? The Heights Independent Business Alliance. I am on the meet and greet committee, and I’m also on the Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival board, and I’ve been on that since the beginning. I’m also on the taste committee for "A Taste of Little Italy" (a scholarship fundraiser at The Montessori School at Holy Rosary) and I’m in charge of all the restaurants. And I’m on the Jason West Memorial Scholarship committee.
When did you decide to open your own business? I was looking for a storefront to rent at the time and there was nothing in Little Italy, so one of my clients, who is a lawyer in Cleveland Heights, said you should really look into Cleveland Heights. So when I was ready he was gracious and took me that day and said I’ll bring you around to all the storefronts. We were looking at commercial spaces so we relocated to The Heights Medical Building. I owned Nails by Dawn before in Little Italy, but when we moved we changed it to Dream Spa Incorporated. Quintana’s opened nine years ago.
What personal or professional accomplishments are you most proud of? Our accomplished awards that we’ve won. Not only are they for the business, but they’re for the staff. Some have been super local and one that we won was national, so it was a really big deal. More so, Alex and I were asked to speak at John Carroll at the Boler School of Business, and I spoke a couple of times for a couple of different classes. It’s a really big deal for me because I didn’t go to college and to be asked to speak at a great college that I would have loved to go to … it made me really proud of myself.
What person—professionally or personally—do you most admire? I would say my mother. Her name is Barbara and she is the salt of the Earth. Right after my dad died she was pretty young, I want to say she was 42, and she worked four jobs. And she supported all of us to keep food on the table and taught us what a work ethic is and what family values are and character is and not to treat anybody differently. And she had four kids in school, and we were all in private school. She’s solid. She kind of laid down the groundwork, the way all of us are now.
What are key ways other people can make a difference locally? To be part of the solution. To volunteer in the community, to join a board, to donate time because you can’t expect someone else to do it. If something needs to be done, you need to step in and you need to help people. Not only do you build relationships, but you also build community.
What is one thing people may not know about you? OK this is probably one of the craziest things. At our wedding I actually got up and I sang to all of our guests. Have you heard of the Sugarhill Gang? I sang the Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight.”